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April 24, 2009

Newsletter Publishers: The Redheaded Step Children Of Internet Marketing

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People who publish online newsletters, often referred to as “ezines”, have always played an important role in the growth of the Internet economy. In fact, if you listen to any of the Internet gurus, they are going to tell you time and again that the most important thing you can do towards the success of your online business is to build a list.

I think Titus Hoskins said it best when he said, “It is a well known fact that the key to successful online marketing comes from building a well targeted and responsive opt-in email list. This is mainly because your online marketing success comes from building relationships with a large subscriber base.” Titus is the owner of http://www.bizwaremagic.com/

Successful newsletter publishers have built profitable niche businesses that represent the very specific needs of very specific consumers in the marketplace. While it is true that some newsletter publishers have subscribers that number in the hundreds, those who have been building their newsletter for years have a subscriber base ranging in the 10’s to 100’s of thousands of subscribers.

Joel Christopher (http://www.masterlistbuilder.com) says, “It’s not just about building a list of names and emails, it’s about building relationships and connections.” He also says that newsletters are “not about huge numbers, it’s about conversions. Converting names and emails into prospects, then into customers/clients, and finally into people who will promote you.”

For the newsletter publisher, it is about giving readers what they want and to win the loyalty of their readers for the years to come.

Alexandria K. Brown, The Ezine Queen (http://www.ezinequeen.com/) advises her clients, “By showcasing your knowledge and skills, you will attract more and better clients and customers. You don’t have to go say you’re an expert. Instead, your audience will assume it.” She also recommends, “What many folks don’t know is that THE easiest and most effective way to do all this is to publish an e-mail newsletter or ezine.”

As an advertiser, it makes a lot of sense to have your ads appear in the newsletters that best serve your target market – preferably in those newsletters that have a large subscriber base of responsive readers.

Ironically, it was newsletter marketing that turned me on to the potential of article marketing to promote my online endeavors. Ten years ago, I had a newsletter of my own. In order to grow my opt-in mailing list, I began doing advertising swaps with other newsletter publishers – a process by which I ran an ad for the other newsletter, and in turn they ran my ad in their newsletter.

As the result of those advertising swaps, I found that some newsletters had a really responsive group of readers. I was so impressed with the interest generated for my business in some newsletters that I began to pay for advertising in those mailing lists.

Angela Booth (http://www.hotwebcopy.com/newsletters.html) says, “Once someone is on your ezine’s subscriber list, you can connect with them each week or each month. Since you need to have several interactions (some authorities say up to seven times) with a customer before they buy, an ezine gives you the ideal way to build the customer relationship.” Booth also pointed out that “An ezine can be ‘the lifeblood’ of your business.”

Yes, the money is in the list. And there is money not only for the person, who owns the mailing list, but also the advertiser who supports the publisher of the newsletter, and the persons who are involved in contributing content to the newsletter.

I never fully appreciated that concept until March 6, 2000. That is the day that my first “reprint article” was published in a newsletter called Internet Day. It was a fairly substantial publication, formerly operated by http://www.Internet.com. In 2000, Internet Day had over 150,000 subscribers. The response to that article was huge. I signed on a boatload of new subscribers to my newsletter, and I began to field questions from other Internet marketers about their businesses.

Suddenly, I was considered an expert, and my advice was in demand.

Between you and I, although the article was decent, it was not exceptional, and I was not the guru that so many of Internet Day’s readers wanted to believe that I was.

But, Internet Day did teach me a very important lesson about the value of writing reprint articles. When an article gets published in a newsletter, it can drive a boatload of traffic to the authors’ website on the day of publication, and over the next three days after publication.

In a recent article of his own, Willie Crawford (http://timic.org/) explained, “I also understand that part of my job as an ezine publisher is to serve as a filter. My subscribers learn to expect quality from me, and will pay more attention to future offers from me than they will from the marketers who filled their hard drives with a bunch of useless ‘fluff’.”

When I sit down to write an article, I write that article with the express intention of making sure it is good enough to be considered by a publisher for his or her newsletter.

In my thinking, publication in a newsletter can be more important than publication on a website, because it can literally put thousands of readers on my website in a single day. Over my years of writing articles, I have found that publication in a major newsletter can very realistically send a wave of thousands of targeted visitors to my website in just a few days – visitors who are interested in buying what I sell.

It is true that like everyone else, I also want my articles to be published on websites, so that I can get that all-important link popularity from Google and to improve my websites’ rankings in Google’s search results. But above links on websites, I want my articles exposed to large newsletter audiences. I find that I still get my articles published on websites, whether I write the article with the intent of finding publication in newsletters or not.

Did you realize that most newsletters are archived on the Internet? So when published in a newsletter, not only do I get a ton of traffic from the newsletter itself, but I also get links from the newsletter’s online archives, and I also get my articles published on websites, whose webmasters tend to reprint articles found in their favorite newsletters.

One example of someone who reprints articles found in her favorite newsletters is Debbie Johnson (http://friendfeed.com/debbiejohnson). Whenever she sees one of my articles in a newsletter that she reads, she adds the article to the forum at http://www.DreamTeamMoney.com. This results in my article being read by hundreds, perhaps thousands of additional people – people who may have not had the chance to see my articles elsewhere.

Another example of someone who republishes articles they like, after reading that article in a newsletter, is Flavio Bernardotti from Alessandria, Italy. After reading one of my articles in a popular newsletter, Flavio republished the article on his Italian-speaking website (http://www.bernardotti.it/portal/showthread.php?t=128997).

If you think for a minute that my article would have been published on Debbie’s or Flavio’s forums if the article had not been published in several large newsletters, then you are bound to keep overlooking the real potential of publication in newsletters.

This article has actually been inspired by a number of people, with whom I have spoke with on the phone. Each wanted to know a bit more about my business. And when I told them that our article distribution service targets publication in newsletters and websites, I was told that they did not care about publication in newsletters. I was told by each person that his or her only concern was links on websites to propel their websites rankings in Google.

Every time I hear this from a potential client, my initial thought is, “Oh, my mistake… I have mistakenly believed you were in business to make money…”

To tell you the truth, I am floored when I hear people tell me that newsletters don’t matter… I have personally earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertising, as a result of my articles appearing in newsletters over the years. And more to the point of everyone reading this article, I have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in new sales, as a result of being published in newsletters.

Yes, I do get links in websites also, and my websites generally rank well in Google and other search engines for competitive keywords. But my Google rankings are only part of the story… Less than 10% of the 2.5 million page views on my website were delivered by Google in 2008, and still, I received more than 200,000 visits to my website in 2008, as a result of the thousands of top 10 and top 20 listings my websites possess in Google.

The truth is that you can target newsletters with your articles, and still achieve your search engine goals. But then again, if you never write articles that newsletter publishers want to publish, you will never know the power of newsletters for driving traffic, sales and search engine rankings.

While newsletter publishers may be the redheaded stepchildren of most Internet marketers, they are and will always be “my favorite stepchildren“.

About The Author:

Bill Platt has operated The Phantom Writers article distribution service since 2001. Rather than to rely on article directories, The Phantom Writers has been designed to send articles to the newsletter publishers and webmasters who are most likely to want to publish an article. One of his customers recently said, “I’ve used other article distribution sites, but your distribution seems to yield a higher quality of publisher and a higher volume. So I’m a happy camper, even if you are more expensive.” Learn more at: http://www.thePhantomWriters.com/

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